The street Bob and Louise Levyn live on isn't the busiest in West Los Angeles but it's no longer the quiet resi dential street they moved to 36 years ago. When the buzz of traffic began to intrude, the Levyns considered moving but they then decided that there had to be an alternative. After all, this was their home.
They had saved a magazine article in which four designers proposed plans for limited-space gardens that offered privacy and the promise of quiet. One of the designers, Chris Rosmini of Los Angeles, had included a great variety of unusual plants. That was the encouragement the Levyns were looking for. They called Rosmini, who solved their problem.
The first step was to wall off their corner lot from the busy street that bordered one side. The tall fence--which had louvers that allowed ocean breezes into the garden so that it didn't become a pocket of dead air--was already there. To give the fence a bit more bulk, and to make it a lot more interesting, Rosmini devised a wall planter that Louise could fill with little plants. But no wall can do much to keep out traffic noise (even one made of concrete blocks), so a fountain was built. Its burbling now effectively obscures the sounds of passing cars.